Courtesy The Downtown Project
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 | 2 a.m.
It has been a little more than a month since Clark County commissioners approved a litter ordinance largely targeting the men and women who distribute “girls-to-your-room”-type cards to tourists.
The traditional trade between card-passer and tourist goes something like this: Card-passer slaps card on hand in front of a passer-by. Passer-by takes card. Passer-by keeps walking, then looks at card, noticing it is for “dancers” to visit your room. Passer-by drops card and walks on.
With this occurring several hundred times a day, the cards pile up on sidewalks and in the gutters along Las Vegas Boulevard.
In early August, commissioners approved the county’s first litter ordinance. It says card handbillers are responsible for picking up the cards if a pedestrian drops them within 25 feet of the handbiller. They also must clean the sidewalk every 15 minutes.
After 25 feet, the pedestrian is responsible.
In either case, Metro officers can issue a citation for littering.
How many citations have gone out so far?
None. Capt. Todd Fasulo, who oversees officers in the area, said he wanted to keep issuing warnings for a few more weeks before writing tickets. He purposely has sent officers to hand out warnings, he said.
He plans to walk the Strip on a weekend night to see how the ordinance is working.
Fasulo said many warnings had been issued, but he could not immediately provide a number.
He added that even before the ordinance became law, Metro had been working with the businesses, including timeshare companies, and the amount of litter being dropped had decreased.
Commissioner Steve Sisolak seconded that, saying he has received reports from volunteer observers on the Strip who have reported fewer cards littering the sidewalks and gutters.
After the commission approved the ordinance, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada warned that if tourists weren’t ticketed as much as handbillers, a lawsuit would likely follow. Are tourists getting warnings, too?
Fasulo said officers are, indeed, addressing the matter with pedestrians who drop the cards or other material on the sidewalk.
Downtown developers, including online retail shoe magnate Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project, this week will seek Las Vegas City Council approval of a shipping container development at Seventh and East Fremont streets.
That’s been talked about for months. Do the plans show more specifics?
The Downtown Project this week released color renderings of the finished product, which looks colorful and impressive on a computer screen. Details in plans submitted to the city include up to five bar/restaurants, plus retail and office space on the half-block project. It also includes something the city’s Planning Department didn’t like.
Here’s how the Department of Planning put it: “The project includes a children’s playground in the center of a tavern that goes against more core planning principles to maintain a safe separation of such contrasting uses.”
Though the city staff recommended denial of the plan, the city’s Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval.
In the renderings, it looks like there’s a lighted dome. What is that?
It’s innovative enough for shipping containers to be turned into stores, but the “immersion dome” takes innovation to a new level. Dome developers Vortex Immersion made a presentation to Hsieh in March, showing how a dome’s interior walls could be made to come “alive” with digital imagery, the breadth of which seems limited only by the imagination. These included starscapes, educational formats and other programming, including ways to use the digital landscape to interact with other dome patrons.
“Basically, it will be able to fit a lot of niches, do a lot of different things,” said Josh Bowden, container park project manager.
Add the dome to other new wrinkles Hsieh has brought downtown, beginning with leasing the old City Hall to house his Zappos headquarters. There are plans to turn a former 7-Eleven at Fifth and Fremont streets into meeting space and a stage for visiting speakers, and there’s the one many are awaiting — a plan for a bar in an elevator of a planned apartment building.